Set the terms

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 8:00pm

There is a letter from National Grid written to Town Manager Ed Roberge and Facilities Manager Sam Bird dated Aug. 21, 2018 that is on next week’s Town Council agenda. The letter addresses issues regarding the exposed portion of the sea2shore cable that has been a topic of discussion in recent weeks.

The letter offers a couple of short-term solutions: dredging sand to use to cover the exposed section of the cable, or, as another option, “obtain sand from a suitable source in Westerly or Charlestown, R.I. and barge the material to Block Island and deposit the dredged material over the exposed cable.” 

The letter concludes by the National Grid representative stating, “We will keep the Town informed of our progress to implement this short-term remedy. To reiterate, [National Grid] is evaluating engineering solutions to identify a feasible long-term solution to the issues with the cable in the nearshore waters off Crescent Beach. [Natonal Grid] will contact the Town when a feasible solution has been identified.” 

The good news here is National Grid is making a commitment to keep the town informed about what is going on with the cable, which it decidedly did not do when it unceremoniously dropped a bill of $1.5 million for the new substation at the power company, when initial projected costs were about $500,000. Block Island ratepayers are still paying for that.

The letter states that by the end of September, National Grid will “kick off scoping and option analysis with Deepwater Wind regarding long-term alternatives” and “prepare a joint draft report outlining options.”

We hope that the Town Council will keep National Grid on a short leash, because National Grid seems comfortable in setting the timetable and the agenda. Now that these deadlines have been set, these promises should be kept.

The Town Council will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.